'Hand over your cellphone if you're attacked': Minneapolis police issue new advice as they struggle to cope with less officers and a surge in violent crime since the death of George Floyd in the city

Minneapolis police has advised people to give up their purses and cellphones if they are attacked as the city battles a surge in violent crime.
The city's beleaguered police department – which is struggling to cope with less officers and a huge increase in violent crime since the death of George Floyd - has issued a list telling residents how to protect themselves in the current climate.
Some of the examples on the list include; 'carry only items you need and carry less cash; be prepared to give up your cellphone and purse or wallet; don't fight with the criminal; remember your safety is most important.'
Minneapolis has been a focal point since the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on May 25 which sparked major riots and unrest across the US. A protester (pictured) carries a US flag next to a burning building in Minneapolis during the fourth day of protests
Minneapolis has been a focal point since the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on May 25 which sparked major riots and unrest across the US. A protester (pictured) carries a US flag next to a burning building in Minneapolis during the fourth day of protests 
Minneapolis police are down at least 100 officers in the last two months — more than 10% of the force.     
Over the past two months, 40 police officers have either resigned, been fired or are in the process of leaving.
Another 75 officers have taken medical leave for post-traumatic stress disorder in the wake of the riots that followed Floyd's death.      
Residents in Minneapolis have complained that police are taking longer to respond to emergency calls as the police staffing shortage comes alongside the crime wave.
A protester is sprayed with pepper spray by a Minneapolis Police officer during protests. The city has seen a dramatic surge in violent crimes in the city recently
A protester is sprayed with pepper spray by a Minneapolis Police officer during protests. The city has seen a dramatic surge in violent crimes in the city recently

Minneapolis Police Department last week told residents 'be prepared to give up your cellphone' to stay safe in the city. (Pictured, Protesters demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct on May 28)
Minneapolis Police Department last week told residents 'be prepared to give up your cellphone' to stay safe in the city. (Pictured, Protesters demonstrate outside of a burning Minneapolis 3rd Police Precinct on May 28)
According to Minneapolis Police Department records, gunfire incidents - which tie up multiple squads - soared in June and July this year, an increase of 224 per cent and 166 per cent respectively compared to 2019
According to Minneapolis Police Department records, gunfire incidents - which tie up multiple squads - soared in June and July this year, an increase of 224 per cent and 166 per cent respectively compared to 2019
Graphic showing an exponential increase in reports of gunfire in the city in the weeks of chaos following George Floyd's death on May 25 - and remain significantly higher compared to previous months
Graphic showing an exponential increase in reports of gunfire in the city in the weeks of chaos following George Floyd's death on May 25 - and remain significantly higher compared to previous months 
The struggling Minneapolis Police Department last week offered a list to help people to navigate the city's recent surge in violent crimes. 
Some of the tips offered by police to prevent robberies include not to walk alone and to be 'hyper-aware' of your surroundings at all times.
The list also suggests that residents carry less cash and are prepared to give up their cellphone and purse or wallet. 
Residents are also advised not to fight with the criminal to protect their safety.
Since Floyd's death, some residents have complained of slow police responses and sometimes no response at all, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
One Minneapolis resident, Leslie Bowden, who lives in the area surrounding Floyd’s memorial - a long troubled neighbourhood that has been the site of several shootings in recent weeks - told the paper that she calls police as a last resort, mostly when she hears gunshots. 
She said: 'Police murdered a man in our neighborhood and then they just all fell out and left us alone to figure out our own as far as protecting our neighborhoods,' she said. 
'You feel isolated, like you’re in a war zone sometimes, but there’s no one helping us.'   
An unnamed source told the paper that although the Minneapolis Police Department is funded to have 888 officers, it could lose about one-third of the force by the end of the year.  
The city has been a focal point of the Black Lives Matter movement since the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on May 25. 
His death sparked major riots and unrest across and since then the city has been rocked with a dramatic increase in violent crime.  
Homicides, shootings and robberies in Minneapolis have all increased by double digits from last year.   
So far this year 288 people have been shot — a total that exceeds all of 2019.
There have also been 41 homicides in the city so far this year. In 2019, there were 48 homicides in Minneapolis in total. 
Though total reported crimes were down 31 per cent in June and 4 per cent by July’s end, gunfire incidents, which tie up multiple squads, soared during the same period. 
The Minneapolis City Council approved a proposal 12-0 last month to change the city charter to allow the police department to be abolished
The Minneapolis City Council approved a proposal 12-0 last month to change the city charter to allow the police department to be abolished
According to Minneapolis Police Department records, gunfire incidents increased 224 per cent and 166 per cent respectively compared to 2019. 
More recently, Minneapolis' South Side has been hit with a string of armed robberies and carjackings, which police say are the work of the same crew. 
In July alone, there have been 100 robberies and 20 carjackings in the Third Precinct - the city's largest precinct geographically.  
This comes as the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a proposal last month to change the city charter to allow the police department to be abolished.  
The amendment calls for a new 'department of community safety and violence prevention' that would offer 'a holistic, public health-oriented approach'. 
However, the 12-0 vote is just the first step in a process that faces significant bureaucratic obstacles to make the November ballot, where the city's voters would have the final say.   

Tips offered by Minneapolis police to prevent robberies

  • Don't walk alone;
  • Be hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times, don't be distracted;
  • Carry only items you need and carry less cash;
  • Be prepared to give up your cellphone and purse or wallet;
  • Have your keys already in your hand as you approach your vehicle;
  • Don't fight with criminal, remember your safety is most important;
  • Be a good witness, be prepared to tell police how many suspects, what age, height, complexion, hair and eye color and any other descriptive features, as well as any weapons they had, what they left in and what direction they went. 
'Hand over your cellphone if you're attacked': Minneapolis police issue new advice as they struggle to cope with less officers and a surge in violent crime since the death of George Floyd in the city 'Hand over your cellphone if you're attacked': Minneapolis police issue new advice as they struggle to cope with less officers and a surge in violent crime since the death of George Floyd in the city Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:34 Rating: 5

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